It is with great
regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Jim
24 December 2017
in Webster, TX, as a result of complications from pneumonia.
Jim was preceded in death by his
parents; his wife, Kim; and his youngest brother, Michael. Jim is survived by
his younger brother, John; sons, James, Sean, and Hugh; daughters, Kim M. and
Kim T.; and their grandchildren, Michael, James, Alexa, Alexandra, Alea, Lauren,
Morgan, Taylor, Joey, Evan, and Ellie.
Jim will be laid to rest at the
Houston National Cemetery, Houston, TX following his military honors service on
February 12, 2018 at 10:00 am.
Condolences may be sent to James
G. Strachan at 281 W Fork
Drive, League City, TX 77573-3485, phone
713-839-6644 and email
In lieu of flowers, the family
has requested that donations in Jimís memory be made to the American Heart
Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX
Well done, Jim.
Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\D-2 Jim
James Dean Strachan
February 12, 194O - December
James Dean Strachan ("Jim"), age 77, was born in Galveston, Texas to Gordon and
Melba Strachan on February 12, 1940. His father, Gordon, was a Reporter for the
Galveston News and his mother, Melba, was the 1938 Miss Oklahoma Harvest Queen.
Jim was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from the 20th
District of Illinois in 1957 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in
Engineering from West Point in 1961, receiving a commission as 2nd LT of
infantry. While at West Point, he ran, boxed, played La Crosse, played soccer
and was an expert marksman on the triathlon team. He was voted most valuable
athlete in his company after he scored the winning soccer goal on a penalty kick
to win the Bankers trophy his senior year in Company D-2. Following Airborne
and Ranger schools, Jim was assigned to the 25th lnfantry Division in Hawaii.
He later attended the Defense Language Institute for Vietnamese and Spanish and
became fluent in both but was first in his class in Vietnamese. ln 1962, he
began his first tour of duty in Vietnam and he spent all or part of every year
between 1962 and 1970 in Vietnam.
ln March 1963, Jim commanded the
counterinsurgency 4th Provisional (Machine-gun) Helicopter Platoon of the 25th
lnfantry Division which was reported as the first U.S. Combat troop in Vietnam
by the Army Times. An article about his service as an lnfantry and Ranger
Battalion officer by the San Francisco Chronicle was read into the Congressional
Record describing part of his service in Vietnam. Jim became Special Assistant
to the Chief of Military lntelligence, Military Assistance Command - Vietnam
(MAC-V J2), for Major General McChristian from 1956-1957. Jim later met and
married the beautiful and talented love of his life, Kim, the famous Vietnamese
stage and radio singer, stage name "Da Thao" at La Cigalle where she sang on the
Saigon supper-club circuit. During 1968-1970, Jim was General Abrams' principal
spokesman for all U.S. ground combat operations in Vietnam at the National Press
Center in Saigon, Vietnam, where he took flak in some 500 briefings to the
lnternational Press during what was termed the "5 o'clock follies" . ln 1973,
Jim was acting Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion/18th Mechanized lnfantry
Regiment and later Chief of Training, G3, of the 1st lnfantry Division, (The Big
Red One). Jim later became the Public Affairs Officer for US Army Japan and
from 1977 to 1980 was the Chief of Public Affairs of the Army Recruiting Command
for three Command Groups. Jim then completed a tour as a California National
Guard Advisor followed by a stint in U. S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) where
he was promoted to full Colonel by Ambassador Negroponte in Honduras.
on to complete a Master's Degree of Management from Webster University in
Wisconsin and later a second Master's Degree in Linguistics from San Jose State
University in California. ln 1980, Jim appeared on the cover of U.S. News and
World Report magazine as part of an expose from the aftermath of the Vietnam
war. In 1984, he received the Medal of Merit 1st Class from the Republic of
Honduras. Jim retired from the Army in 1985 while serving as the Chief of
Public Affairs in the XVlll Airborne Corps HQ in Ft. Bragg. Jim received a
Silver Pen award from the San Jose Mercury News after his honorable service and
retirement from the U.S. Army.
Jim was a highly decorated U.S. Army
Officer and his many achievements and awards over his 26 years of military
service include: Unit Officer CBR Course, MATA Counterinsurgency Course, Command
and General Staff College, Advanced Public Affairs Course, Combat lnfantryman's
Badge, Ranger Tab, Air Crewman's Badge, Parachutist Badge, Legion of Merit with
Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Bronze Star OLC, Air Medal OLC, Defense Meritorious
Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal OLC, Army Commendation Medal, National
Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal
(11 Campaigns), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of
Vietnam Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam
Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Badge with Palm and Silver Star, and the Honduran
Medal of Merit (1st Class). Jim was a 100% disabled veteran due to cancer
attributed to presumed Agent Orange exposure after nearly five years in Vietnam.
After two years in county government in San
Jose, CA, Jim and Kim Strachan moved to Houston, Texas, in 1989. Jim and Kim
founded and ran the Asian American News for many years in Houston, receiving a
National Public Service Award from the Washington Times Foundation. Jim also
made several trips back to Vietnam to negotiate Service Agreements between a
U.S. company, BFl, and the Hanoi Government for future landfills.
Our dad was a brave man and lived up to the
Strachan family motto: "Non Timeo, Sed Caveo" which means "Fearless, but
Cautious". He was a brilliant, loving, caring, honest, loyal, and thoughtful
husband, father, and grandfather. Our dad was active in each of our lives and
enjoyed supporting and attending school activities as a proud father. He was
very optimistic and encouraged all of us to do our best and to do the right
thing. He was inspirational throughout our lives and we all were very proud of
him and of all his achievements. Dad loved to spend time with mom visiting the
Asian community and friends. He adored his grandkids and enjoyed reading books,
listening to music, watching football, the news, and classic movies. He had
several hobbies which included, coin and stamp collecting, collecting and
shaping rocks and gems, and art collecting. We learned a great deal over the
years from the example that he set as a father and he will be dearly missed by
his family and everyone that had the privilege to know him. Our dad made it
possible for us to have so many fond memories throughout our childhood from
taking trips across the country in our station wagon to sharing holidays and
birthdays together in Japan. On behalf of my siblings, it has truly been our
honor to be your son and daughter respectively.
While caring for Dad, he had me transcribe
his words to us on Veterans Day: "Dearest children, Kim, Sean, Hugh, Kimmy,
Jimmy, and grandchildren, Michael, James, Alexa, Alexandra, Lauran, Alea,
Morgan, Taylor, Joey, Evan, and Ellie: thank you all for the best wishes on
Veterans Day. Never forget that without the U.S. Army, I would have never met
Grandma or been able to bring you all back here. I am forever grateful for our
loving family. Grandma and often talked about how important it is for all of you
to stick together and help each other, whenever possible. This is because
through you, and your children, we will stay alive in your hearts long after we
Colonel James Dean Strachan passed away on
December 24, 2017. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Kim, and
his youngest brother Michael. Jim is survived by his younger brother John, son
James of League City, son's Sean and Hugh of California, his daughter Kimmy of
Missouri City, daughter Kim of California and eleven grandchildren, Michael,
James, Alexa, Alexandra, Lauren, Alea, Morgan, Taylor, Joey, Evan, and Ellie.
We love you Dad and we are grateful for
being part of your extraordinary life.
Be thou at peace.
Your Loving Son, James Gordon
Strachan, USMA x'92